The feud that defined the start of the personal computing era has flared up again, with the two tech giants back on the warpath against each other.

The recent launch of Windows 11 last June 24th was not without controversy. The age-old feud between its creator Microsoft and long-time rival Apple over the latter’s perceived iron grip over content distributed through the iPhone App Store.

Apple accused of non-inclusivity

Apple is currently in the middle of a legal dispute with digital game maker Epic Games Inc. regarding anti-competitive and monopolistic practices concerning programs sold on the App Store. Executives for Apple have hurled accusations that Epic Games is little more than a puppet or catspaw controlled by Microsoft. However, Microsoft has shot back, saying that the iOS creator is giving them a hard time reaching customers with their proprietary gaming service.

At the Windows 11 Launch, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella alluded to Apple’s non-inclusive approach to app distribution. Nadella said that the world needs a more open platform. By this, he meant one that allows for the distribution of software programs and mobile applications other than those created by a single entity and its affiliates.

Nadella’s statement is seen as a way of reinforcing Microsoft’s image of being an ally for developers and an excellent partner for creation and development. This can be seen further in the way Microsoft has inked an agreement with online retail titan Amazon to distribute the latter’s ecommerce applications to Windows 11 users.

Online security and user protection

For its part, Apple has decried these accusations, stating that any perceived restrictions on content are part of its improved approach towards online security and the protection of users’ privacy. However, many users have noted the removal of numerous third-party applications from the App Store over the past year – and this is a source of frustration among iOS users who previously opted for Apple products because of the diversity of apps it offered via its digital marketplace.

The current dispute with Epic Games is seen as another issue in Apple’s litany of woes. Quite recently, Apple’s hard-line stance regarding data privacy came under question when it seemingly acquiesced to the Chinese government’s demand that its data centers be put in the hands of local regulators. 

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has accused the tech giant of “hypocrisy,” saying that it has failed to stand up for its guiding principles against the totalitarian regime.